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Brodie Kit Sail????

Discussion in 'Canoe Sailing' started by BLK, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. BLK

    BLK Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Does anyone have information on a Brodie kit sail?
    I found one of these on craigslist.
    This is a sail rig kit that was sold in the early/mid 1960's.
    One thing that seems to be unusual is that the mast is not stepped on the bottom of the canoe, but it appears to be stepped on a casting in the center of the mast thwart. This might make the mast a bit less secure than the traditional design.

    Any experience or knowledge of this product?

    Thank you.
  2. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    As long as the sail isn't too big and the mast is supported by shrouds (3 wires or lines, one on each side and one going forward) it would probably work, but I certainly wouldn't call it an ideal way to do it. Without the shrouds it's likely to twist the mast thwart right out of the boat and I'm assuming that the thwart and it's attachment points are sturdy enough to take a fair bit of compression loading. If the price is right, you could always build a longer mast that can be stepped on the floor and use the other parts of the rig.
  3. OP

    BLK Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    More information on the sail kit

    Todd, Thanks for your expert advise.

    The only other parts are available are a single thwart, which supports the mast and the leeboards, two leeboards, mast and sail. The mast is about 12 ft. tall and appears to be some type of sleeve Marconi (?). There is an opening on the foot to accommodate tying a mainsheet to a spar, but not on the luff, so I assume that the sleeve would fit over the mast (?). There is a grommet at the head to which the halyard would be tied.

    There are no shrouds, and I don’t think that I would want them in a multi-use canoe anyway. I have already built a leeboard thwart and have a set of vintage Grumman leeboards. So I don’t need the leeboards either. And the sail fits the mast, so there are no other parts of this rigs that would be useful.

    I apologize if some of my terminology is wrong. I’m just learning about canoe sailing and your book – Canoe Rig – has been a tremendous resource.

  4. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    The sleeve over the mast, either with a halyard or tie-off up top (or even a closed web-reinforced top end) works fine and is common on some popular sailing dinghies. I'm still trying to draw a mental picture of how a casting on the mast thwart can hold the mast up though and resist wind pressure just pushing the mast over? Sailboats like Sunfish and Lasers essentially drop the unstayed mast into a cup, but it's really a tube about 12" long which goes through the deck and is very securely anchored inside to the bottom of the hull. This is a curious one....
  5. OP

    BLK Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Help with the mental picture

    I'll try to help with the mental picture.

    I have only seen this in photos. I will try to attach some below. Seller has told me that the mast does not drop below the casting. There is a lock screw (or bolt) to hold the mast in place. How well it did that would be questionable. Perhaps that is why no else has seen this design.

    I can't figure out how to paste just this picture, so here is a link to seller's ad with the pictures of the thwart, mast, and casting.

    Thanks again for the advice.
  6. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    OK, so it works like the socket for a patio umbrella on a picnic table (might even be where they got it). The thwart/crossbar piece looks sturdy enough as long as the attachment to the gunwales is solid enough to get good grip without chewing up the rails. I can't say that it strikes me as an ideal way to step the mast, but I also can't say that it won't work. I do believe that it's going to focus all the sideways load of the sailplan on that small section of mast, just above the top of the mast socket and wouldn't be surprised to see a big gust come along some time and just fold the mast over right above the socket, but the same thing could happen at the top of any mast thwart or at deck level on a through-deck mast installation if the mast isn't strong enough. If I had one, I think I might try stuffing about 3' of snug-fitting fir closet pole into the bottom of the mast to try to spread the stress out over a longer area. I have seen masts stepped this way on a few kayaks, with a similar bracket attached to the deck, but the sails only had 15-20 sq. ft. of sail area and their masts weren't more than 5'-6' tall. I'm not sure what to expect with a 12' mast and a bigger sail.

    I suppose my gut tells me that this isn't a very difficult design idea to come up with and that over the past 150 years a lot of people have probably "invented" the same basic type of mast stepping system. It's simple and easy, it doesn't require permanently attaching parts to the boat and.... since they aren't all over the history of canoe sailing, I suspect that it may not work very well, but I could be wrong.

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